IGS Internships

Religion & Culture

Buddhist Monastery Stay

Project Introduction

Just north of the ancient Buddhist town of Boudhanath is a monastery of international importance.
With 260 Nepali and Tibetan monks, and a place of study for the 150 nuns this is a spiritual oasis for hundreds of visitors yearly from around the world. It was to this hill that these lamas first came with their first Western students in 1969. Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave his first public teachings here in 1971 to a group of twelve Westerners, an intensive one-month introduction to Buddhism that became the model for the meditation courses now held throughout the year.

Nearly half of the 260 monks and most of the nuns at the associated nunnery are Tibetans, many of them recent refuges from Tibet. The students study traditional philosophical subjects and debate, rituals such as chanting, religious dances (Cham). They learn how to play various instruments, make ritual cakes (tormas), and sand mandalas. Additionally the monks and nuns assembly every day for prayers, which are dedicated for sick and dying people, and to overcome personal and spiritual problems. People from all over the world request recitation of prayers and performance of special ceremonies from the monastery's special prayer project A Gift of Prayers.

In 1979 Lama Yeshe invited nuns to study at the temple, an uncommon practice in Tibetan monasteries. There are now 150 nuns, mainly Tibetans living in their own monastery nearby, who participate fully with the monks in their schedule of philosophical studies and debate, as well as following their own practices.

Location

Located outside of Katmandu in the Tibetan community of Boudanath, our Buddhist Nepal Internship celebrates the best of Vajrayana Buddhism against the backdrop of one of Asia's great religious study centers. In contrast to the Theravada forest tradition as taught in Thailand, our Nepal Buddhist inquiry is centered in a semi-urban area and within a vibrant Tibetan community.

Job Description

During the internship, students will apprentice under a world-renowned Tibetan monk and leader. Weekly dharma talks will initiate students into an evolving Buddhist practice. Complimenting the study of Buddhist principles will be a living opportunity to practice the dharma. Specifically, students will donate their time to selected projects aimed at temple restoration, as well as education of the monks in residence. Tutor sessions in the English language and world geography will be held for monks within the temples.

Interns must have energy and enthusiasm to learn as the workload can be heavy as you assist in all areas of the business. Interns receive some supervision and training from experts in all facets of web design, desktop publishing, and running a small business. For someone looking toward a career in web design or toward starting a business, this is an ideal experience.

Availability and Requirements

Position is available year round.

Accomodation

Since the 1970s, the lamas and monks have managed to live their monastic lives and at the same time find space in their monastery for foreign visitors. They have taught them the Lord Buddha's Dharma, counseled them, served them, cooked for them, and even learned their languages. Kopan offers an extensive library with books in several languages as well as an audio and video library, and Tibetan as well as Western sangha (monks and nuns) are available for private talks and advice

Minimum Length of Stay

4 weeks

Additional Requirements

Please submit along with your application a resume or acceptable equivalent, indicating any relevant knowledge or skills. Please also provide a brief essay (one page or less) indicating: the source of your interest in this position, what you hope to contribute to the programs indicated, and what you hope to learn or experience through your internship.